Transitioning from one OSHC provider to another can be a difficult time for your school community. It’s important to make sure there are procedures in place to ensure the transition is a smooth one.
Here are some things you can do to ease stress and anxiety during this time:
Tell everyone what’s happening early
Letting everyone know what’s happening and when is an important part of the transition process. Advertise in the school newsletter, send information sheets home with students, place the news on the school notice board or electronic signage. If you have an OSHC service that is external to a school, make sure you communicate with the schools in your area about the upcoming changes.
Hold information sessions for families
Hold a range of information sessions for families to attend so they can become familiar with the new OSHC provider. This should be a time when new and existing families can collect enrolment forms and also ask questions about the provider and their policies.
Ensure these sessions are held in the evenings, early mornings and at school pick-up time so all families can take part.
Allow for a handover period
Even if there are some staff members staying on with the new service provider, see if it’s possible to have some transition time with the new staff. Have some of the new staff members come to the service in the weeks leading up to the transition so children and families can become familiar with the new faces before the OSHC provider takes over.
Can the new staff members attend school assembly, hang out in the playground at lunchtime or visit classrooms and help with reading or literacy / math groups? Any way you can introduce new staff in a safe environment is to be encouraged. The last thing parents and carers want to do is drop their child off to a stranger early on Monday morning.
Try and limit the change as much as possible
A new OSHC provider might have many ideas for changing the service but it’s not a great idea to make all their changes at once. In order to keep children feeling at ease, introduce the changes slowly over a period of weeks or months. The changeover of staff is likely to be a stressful time for some children so keeping the rest of the environment unaltered while they get used to their new staff members is a clever idea.
Changing OSHC providers can be both an exciting and stressful period for children and their families. Make sure changes are made gradually and families are kept informed about what is happening and when.